There is a type of headline which cannot help but draw you in. It is the type which is utterly incoherent. What on Earth could a story entitled “Merlin sees vast alcohol stream” be about? Perhaps it is an arts story about a new best selling book in which the Wizard Merlin discovers a stream of alcohol and defeats Mordred with it (who would not be defeated by a river of alcohol?).

But when I tell you it is a BBC science and nature story, what do you think it is about. Merlin – as magician – does not really fit in science and nature. Except of course in the “all science is magic to people not technologically advanced enough” bollocks way. But wait, a Merlin is a kind of bird of prey. Maybe a bird has found a secret stream of alcohol somewhere in the Scottish highlands (it would explain a LOT). But no, it is not that. Which can only mean one thing. Merlin is a name for some sort of project or instrument. And indeed that proves to be the case.

Merlin is network of radio telescopes which has, as the story suggests, detected a stream of alcohol in space. Not just any old stream though. A stream which lasts 288 million miles: which is some optic run. Unfortunately it is alcohol in its gaseous form, but hey, it is in space so I don’t guess I was going to lie with my gob open and have this glugging into my gullet (I know, I know there is more to alcohol that bouzin’).

Anyway here is the intriguingly titled story about Merlin, his eyes, and the magical stream of alcohol.